Sunday, November 30, 2008

First Snowfall

This past week was a nice little taste of winter, and it looks like there is much more on the way.

Winter is my favourite time of the year, but the only problem is there aren't enough hours in the day to fully appreciate it. This was evident last Wednesday with a full day consisting of a trail run in the morning, snowshoe run in the afternoon, dogsled run in the evening and some snowman building mixed in for good measure with Brennan and Heather.
Speaking of the dogsled run, it was our first time out this season and the dogs were all very excited. It was fun seeing our youngest dog, Siku dogsled for the first time. She is a natural and caught on very quickly. Veterans Meela and Cody ran lead, with Jesse and Willy in point. Siku ran single wheel and after the first 5 minutes of looking over her shoulder at me wondering if this was what she was supposed to be doing, she settled in and had a great 5km run. The trail was in great shape and was just beautiful as we ran at 8pm during a light snowfall. Below are a few pictures of our team before hooking up to the dogsled...... and then the chaos and excitement begins.
It's going to be a fun winter!

Training Log: Nov 24 - 30 (10:32)

Planned on taking this as a recovery week. Felt pretty good cutting back and lots of energy later in the week, then started coming down with a cold. Cut the weekend very short to try to turn it around.

Week Ending Total = 10:32

Mon/24 (2:02)
am (1:17) Crosslite4. Nice run on some snow. Ran Sandpit/Paudyn loop. Felt a little tired, but loosened up and felt much better after about 45 mins.
pm (:45) Gazelle2. Nice easy run on Cat West with Sara. Felt much better tonight and felt like I could have run further.

Tue/25 (1:10)
am (1:10) Crosslite4. Easy run this morning at Lemoines before work in Kingston. Felt quite good once I got going. Bit of a recovery week, so just ran once today.

Wed/26 (1:52)
am (1:12) Crosslite4. Steady run with Taylor Murphy on Sandpit/Paudyn loop. We got quite a bit of snow, so was a little deep in places, but good traction with crosslite tread. Beautiful morning out.
pm (:40) Crosslite3. Nice run with Sara. Beautiful night. More snow coming down during run. Ran Cat Trail west with good footing on fresh snow. First dogsled run of the season later in the evening too.

Thu (2:06)
am (1:16) Crosslite4. First snowshoe run of the season. Ran carrying snowshoes for the first 10 mins to Cat Trail, then Snowshoe ran on Cat Trail to Curl Road and back, final 10mins running carrying snowshoes home. Felt pretty good. Beautiful day. Felt great to strap the snowshoes back on.
pm (:50) Crosslite4. Tempo Run. Warmup/Cooldown on Cat Trail. Ran 20' tempo on trail to Curl Road and back. Footing not great with deep snow, but good effort. Felt good.

Fri (1:37)
am (1:07) Crosslite4. Easy run at Lemoines before work on cinder trails. Just kind of poked along as legs a little tired from yesterday.
pm (:30) Crosslite4. Easy with Sara, Siku and Meela on Cat East. Footing not great with snow on trail.

Sat (:45)
pm (:45) Crosslite4. Easy with Siku and Sara on Cat West. Felt pretty good from recovery week. Getting a little more spring in the legs and looking to increase again next week. Have been feeling like I'm fighting a cold this week, but not bad. That's the problem with a recovery week!

Sun (1:00)
pm (1:00) Crosslite4. Took it pretty easy on north trail to Sandpit and back on Paudyns. Still feel like I'm fighting a bit of a cold, but felt ok while running. Just not much energy.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Dion snowshoes now available in Canada!

To coincide with the first significant snowfall of the season in Eastern Ontario, Dion snowshoes are now available in Canada and being distributed by Spafford Health and Adventure.

Sara and I both switched to Dion Snowshoes a number of years ago after running in other brands. We truly believe that they are the best on the market. Dions are super lightweight, durable, comfortable to run in and have the added benefit that the components can easily be changed and modified to suit snow conditions; while other brands can't.

Please visit for more details.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Training Log: Nov 17 - 23 (17:25)

Great week of training. Really starting to feel like strength is improving. Mileage, workouts, long run and pulling all felt easier than last week.

Week Ending Total = 17:25

Mon/17 (2:03)
am (1:20) Crosslite3. Easy recovery run up to Sandpit and back through Paudyns. Nice to get back up that way now that hunting season is over.
pm (:43) Crosslite3. Easy run with Sara on Cat West. Legs feeling a little better tonight.

Tue/18 (2:20)
am (1:12) Crosslite2. Nice run at Little Cataraqui Cons. Area before work. Cool, crisp morning. Ran perimeter, plus added on to check out options for a 5 Peaks race. Wore Suunto GPS to test out and get some distances. Nice watch.
pm (1:08) Crosslite4. Tempo Run. Easy warmup along Cat E, then 30 min tempo on Cat West past Curl Road and back. Felt pretty good. Legs a little tired at the start, but not bad. Got a new pair of Crosslites today which felt great. Didn't realize how worn out the old ones were until putting on a new pair. Happy Feet!

Wed/19 (2:29)
am (1:58) Crosslite4. Good run. Beautiful morning. A little slow starting, but felt good once I got going. Ran Cat W-DND-Camden East Loop. Very wet and icy along DND section so had to take it very easy though there. Moved along pretty well after that though. Noticed a big difference with the new shoes on a longer run.
pm (:31) Skylite2. Nice easy run with Sara, Siku and Meela on Cat trail east. Felt good to break out another pair of Skylites too.

Thu/20 (2:20)
am (1:15) Crosslite4. Nice run on Cataraqui Trail West to grass hill past Curl Rd. Had fun running with Siku. A light dusting on ground made it a beautiful run. Felt pretty good. Well rested and ready to play on the hills again tonight.
pm (1:05) Gazelle. Hills. Warmup on Cat Trail, then 10 x Yarker hill. Felt very strong. Ranged between 63-69 secs. Felt much better than the last few weeks. Hills are so great because it doesn't really take long before you start feeling the positive affects of doing them.

Fri/21 (2:05)
am (1:20) Crosslite4. Nice run. Pretty cool out this morning. Ran Sandpit/Paudyn Loop. Was pretty tired at the start, but loosened up and felt much better after about 45'. Very hungry!
pm (:45) Skylite2. Easy run on Cat West with Sara after dark. Nice night with bright stars out.

Sat/22 (4:11)
am (4:11) Crosslite4. Great run at Frontenac Park. Ran entire northern perimeter with Sara. Bright day, but quite cold at times with the windchill. Ran counter clockwise. Just beautiful around Gibson Lake (see photo). Most of the smaller lakes are frozen over now. Felt good.

Sun/23 (1:57)
am (1:20) Crosslite4. Nice easy run with Sara on north trail to Sandpit and back on Paudyn Loop. Started from Cat Trail and added on Cat West on the way back.
pm (:37) Skylite2. Bubba run. Ran on Cat Trail East with Sara, Jesse, Neeka....and of course pulling 'Bubba the Tire'. Started out pretty easy, but then loosened up and felt better during last half of run. Seemed to be getting stronger during pulling workouts.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Snowshoe Magazine: The Legend of Bubba

I remember talking to a friend a few years ago and I was telling her about all the signs of wildlife that I see while trail running. Bear scat, deer droppings, wolf poop, etc.. She quickly replied that she didn’t tend to see many of those things in her neck of the woods, but did see a lot of Bubba droppings. Bubba droppings I asked? Yes, she said. You know, when you are out on the trail and you see where Bubba and the boys have been out walkin’, huntin’ and drinkin’ and casually drop their empty cans of Budweiser on the ground. Those are Bubba droppings. Well, that kind of stuck in my head for a while...
(Click here to read entire story)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Training Log: Nov 10 - 16 (16:45)

Great week of running. Pleased with how I continue to feel during the increase in volume and intensity. Will continue to gradually increase the length of long runs now.

Finished off the week with a nice weekend with Brennan and Heather, and went to see Bob Dylan in concert in Kingston on Saturday. Pretty great to see such a legend. Dylan did great versions of 'Like A Rolling Stone', 'Maggie's Farm', 'All Along The Watchtower', and my favourite of the night was 'Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again'.

I feel fortunate to have now seen all three of my favourite singer/songwriters...Shane MacGowan, Steve Earle, and Bob Dylan.

Weekend Total = 16:45

Mon/10 (2:13)
am (1:29) Crosslite3. Great run on J&J trails with Aaron. Legs a little tired going into it from the past week of running, but trails are just so nice that you forget all about being tired.
pm (:44) Crosslite2. Nice relaxed run with Sara on Cataraqui Trail West. Legs a little tired tonight, but not bad.

Tue/11 (2:32)
am (1:11) Gazelle. Very easy run on cinder trails at Lemoines before work in town. Felt good. Just took it nice and easy. Surprised to see two bucks at Lemoines, but once again, glad they are safe in there.
pm (1:21) Skylites. Tempo run (40'). Warmed up from Yarker on Cat East. Ran tempo portion from skidoo club west to Curl Road, and back and then west again to Curl Road in 40:25. Felt very smooth and strong tonight. Beautiful night with a bright moon out.

Wed/12 (2:29)
am (1:57) Crosslite3. Cataraqui Trail West-DND-Camden East Loop. Ran pretty relaxed and felt much better than last week. Took a bottle of Gu2O with me today which helped. Finished feeling like I could have kept going, which wasn't the case last week.
pm (:32) Raceblades. Solid run with Sara and Siku on Cataraqui Trail East, while pulling the tire the whole time. Felt much stronger today compared to last week. Ran using the poles I rigged up my pulk and the new Nathan Storm pack. Both felt so much better. Might still use a climbing harness around my waist, but we'll see how this system goes for now.

Thu/13 (2:12)
am (1:05) Crosslite2. My am run almost became a pm run since I procrastinated so long. Very cold, very windy, very rainy. I hate Nov days like this. Just bring on the snow. Was really nasty starting, but felt ok once I turned around on the Cat trail @ Curl Rd and headed back towards home. Felt pretty well recovered from the past few days.
pm (1:07) Gazelles. Hill Workout. Warmup on Cataraqui Trail. 8 x Curl Road hill (+/- 95sec). Felt pretty good. Not as steep as last week, but long. With the longer recovery, I tended to run back down a little quicker.

Fri/14 (2:17)
am (1:17) Crosslite3. Easy on Cat Trail West to grass hill. Warm, sunny day. Just beautiful out. Busy morning with eye appt and snowshoe stuff, so almost turned into a pm run.
pm (1:00) Crosslite2. Easy run with Sara on Cat Trail West. Legs a little tired, but felt like I could have kept going a long time. Nice run.

Sat/15 (1:25)
pm (1:25) Crosslite3. Recovery day. Easy with Sara on Cat Trail from Boundary Road, then Paudyn Loop. Very nice in the woods. The green moss was just so incredibly bright in contrast to the fallen leaves and bare trees. Looking forward to running this loop more on snowshoes soon. Felt a little tired.

Sun/16 (3:37)
pm (3:37) Crosslite3. Great run with Sara. Parked at Escarpment and ran Rideau Trail into Gould Lake including Bear Loop. Wagon Trail to Bedford Road, then along Little Long Lake. Ran an out and back add-on into the Mica Mine Trails on the way back. Nice that the Rideau Trail Association has repaired the bridge going over to the Mica trails. Snowed off and on the entire run. Ran with Spin Pack and extra water, gels. Was getting dark on the way back for the last 45 minutes, so glad we had our headlamps. Really nice run. Came home to the smell of African Garbonzo Bean Soup on the crock pot, accompanied by Naan bread and Guinness. Yum!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Training Log: November 3 - 9 (14:42)

Great week. Solid volume, tempo run, hill workout, tire pulling and a long run. Very pleased with how it all felt.

Week Ending total = 14:42

Mon/3 (2:12)
am (1:30) Skylites. Great run with Aaron on J&J Mt Bike trails. Beautiful trails. Combination of pine needles, grass, technical and some good climbs. Legs felt good once we got going. Quite warm. Hope to get back on these trails again soon.
pm (:42) Crosslite3. Good shakeout run with Sara. Started up on the north trail, but saw a hunter in a tree and thought we'd best turn back and stay on the Cataraqui Trail. I hate hunting season!

Tue/4 (2:15)
am (1:07) Gazelles. Ran cinder trails at Lemoines before work. One of those runs that don't happen often. Felt like I was floating the whole time. Kept trying to slow down as I knew I was doing a tempo run tonight, but just felt so good. Legs felt fresh and just a beautiful morning. I quite often do this loop in 70-72 minutes, so was a little surprised to do it so quickly. Feel like I'm finally starting to gain some fitness again during my buildup, but haven't trained quite hard enough yet to fully zap my legs.
pm (1:08) Skylites. Tempo run. Warmed up from Yarker on Cat Trail east, then ran Cat West past Curl Road and back. Same route as last weeks tempo, but didn't get quite as far. Makes sense though after a good week last week, a solid run this morning (that was probably not too far off tempo pace) and todays tempo actually felt much smoother and like I wasn't redlining it as much. Nice warm night. I actually ran the workout part shirtless, as I warmed up with a longsleeve, but got too warm.

Wed/5 (2:25)
am (1:55) Gazelles. Steady run. Ran Cat Trail West-DND-Camden East loop. Felt pretty good. Got a little tired near the end, but pleased with run.
pm (:30) Crosslite3. Cataraqui East Trail with Sara and Siku. Ran first 10' pulling the tire, then 10' without, and final 10' pulling again. Really like the idea of running with a tire on Wednesday afternoons after a slightly longer morning run. Good training for Rock and Ice.

Thu/6 (2:04)
am (1:04) Crosslite3. Easy run on Cataraqui Trail West. Legs a little tired from yesterday. Nice day out. Very warm and sunny.
pm (1:00) Gazelle. Hill Workout. Warmup on Cat Trail, then 9 x Yarker Hill. First hill workout, or harder workout in a while other then tempo run, so felt a little rough getting into it on the first few repeats. Started feeling much better about halfway through. Realized that I need to get much more hill work in before the snowshoe season or hitting any hilly races.

Fri/7 (1:40)
am (:40) Raceblades. Easy run on Cataraqui Trail West from Yarker. Legs a little tired from the week so far, but not too bad.
pm (1:00) Crosslite3. Steady run with Charley Murphy on Cataraqui Trail West after dark. Great run, followed by my 'World Famous Vegetarian Chili' (the secret is pinneapple) and beer. Legs a little tired from the week.

Sat/8 (1:02)
pm (1:02) Gazelles. Easy run on Cat Trail West w/Sara on the bike. Ran to Curl Road and back. Felt surprisingly good. Nice day out.

Sun/9 (3:04)
am (3:04) Crosslite2. Great run at Frontenac Park with Sara. Ran from Trail Centre, Arkon East, along Birch Lake through Moulton Gorge, around Little Clear Lake, then back along north shore of Big Salmon to Trail Centre. Cool and windy day, but felt pretty good. Got very close to a Barred Owl, which was very cool. Also saw a bunch of deer including a very large buck. Happy to see them in the park and safe during hunting season.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Snowshoe Magazine

Snowshoe season is almost here!

Snowshoe Magazine is a great resource for everything to do with snowshoeing, from snowshoe racing to recreational snowshoe hikes. Sara and I will be regular contributors to Snowshoe Magazine again this year with articles, gear reviews, interviews and a blog.

To receive a free monthly newsletter from Snowshoe Magazine, please click here.

The following are a few of the articles that Sara and I have posted so far this year…

Snowshoe Magazine Interview - Mark Elmore (Nov 3/08) :
This is the first in a series of interviews with notable snowshoe personalities that we will be presenting throughout the season.Mark Elmore is the sports director for the United States Snowshoe Association (USSSA) and a familiar face in the U.S. and International snowshoe running scene. (Read entire interview)

Adventures in Race Directing (Nov 3/08) :
Race directing can sometimes be a thankless job, with all of the hours of planning leading up to it, the early morning course set-up, crazy busy race day, and then dealing with follow-ups and issues a... (Read entire blog)

Gear Review - PolarMAX Acclimate Wool Base Layer (Nov 3/08) :
Wool has long been recognized for its ability to keep you toasty warm in cold weather conditions. It has been a staple in my snowshoeing wardrobe from the very beginning. (Read entire gear review)

Whispers of Winter (Oct 10/08) :
I’ve noticed that the 2008/09 dates for snowshoe racing are starting to appear. I’ve also noticed that the days are getting crisper and the sun is setting earlier. Add to this the fall colors, no mosq... (Read entire blog)

Gear Review – JetBoil Stove (Oct 11/08) :
Nothing is better during a long day of snowshoeing on a cold day than taking a break and enjoying a hot drink or meal on the trail. (Read entire gear review)

Training Log: Oct 27 - Nov 2 (12:39)

Felt great this week to get back into the swing of things now that the race is over. Physically I felt better each day and hip has improved daily. Still just a bit tight in the morning, but much better than it was.

Weekly Total = 12:39

Mon/27 (:45)
pm (:45) Skylites. Easy run on Cataraqui Trail West with Sara. Still feeling a little tired from the race yesterday.

Tue/28 (1:52)
am (1:02) Crosslite3. Steady run on cinder trails at Lemoines before work. Felt a little weak at the beginning, but much better after about 30 minutes. Not enough food or sleep lately.
pm (:50) Crosslite3. Easy run with Sara at Lemoines again. Stayed in town and planned to go for dinner after, but ended up picking up some frozen Indian food and ate at home. Very nasty night out.

Wed/29 (1:55)
am (1:15) Raceblades. Easy to steady up the north trail to the Sandpit. Trail was very muddy from all the rain. Came back through Paudyn's loop which was in pretty good shape one I got in the woods.
pm (:40) Gazelles. Easy run with Sara to the store to pick up our passports.

Thu/30 (2:09)
am (1:05) Crosslite2. Easy to Steady on Cataraqui Trail West a few minutes past Curl Road. Felt pretty good. Hip stiff at beginning, but seem to loosen up as I ran. Cool, crisp morning. Can smell the snow in the air.
pm (1:04) Skylites. Easy on Cat trail from Yarker, then 30 minute Tempo run from Yarker West on trail to driveway past Curl Rd and back. Felt pretty good. Started out maybe a little too hard, then had to work to hold form on the way back into the wind. It's really great doing workouts/tempos on Cataraqui Trail section between Yarker and Curl Road with the new cinders put down. Very soft and very smooth. I thought that it was the Cataraqui Trail/Cataraqui Conservation Authority that did all the trail work, but noticed a sign on the trail that it was the Lennox & Addington Ridgerunners Snowmobile Club. Good to see. Maybe if we get another good winter of snow, membership fees will be good and they'll be able to do more sections of the trail?

Fri/31 (1:28)
am (1:28) Crosslite3. Beautiful fall day. +9C, no wind. Felt a little tired from tempo last night, but good otherwise. The only thing disappointing about the run was that I ran the north trail up to the Sandpit only to discover that it has been totally fenced in. I tried to go around it, but it's locked up pretty good. Could climb over the fence, but not really worth the effort for just getting a little bit more into the loop. It's not really a big deal and I can understand that they probably don't want ATV's and dirtbikes in there, but it's a little annoying for us runners and wildlife who like to play on the sandhills in mid-run. Can just make it a slightly shorter loop and add on later, but I've been running this same loop for a long time and always enjoyed it. First I get kicked off of the Freeman Road Trails that connect to Cat Trails, and now fenced out of the Sandpit trails. Only solution is to move further into the woods! Thoughts Sara? Other than the sandpit closure, it was a really great run. Added on the Colebrooke Trail loop too which I haven't done in a while. I think I saw the butt-end of a bear running through the high grass, but just caught a quick glimps.

Sat/1 (1:58)
am (1:28) Crosslite3. Nice run with Sara on the north trail to the Colebrooke Trail loop and back through Paudyns. Felt good. Another beautiful fall day.
pm (:30) Zoom Streaks. Ran on grass trails behind our house. Warmed up easy for 10 minutes, then run pulling a tire attached to a rope and bungee for 15mins, then another 5 mins easy. First real pulling run. Heavy going, but will throw in a couple of these runs weekly and gradually increase to get ready for Rock and Ice. Hope the snow comes early as I'd rather be pulling a pulk than a tire.

Sun/2 (2:32)
pm (2:32) Raceblades. Nice run with Sara on Cataraqui Trail West to DND trails, road to Camden East and then back on Cat East home. Felt pretty good. Wrapped up a nice week of training.